Introduction: DIY Plugs for Stretched Ears
Create you own plugs in a variety of colors. There are several ways to do this and I will share with you what works for me. It is relatively simple and you don't need to have any experience.
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Step 1: Materials
> Pair of single flare stainless steel tunnels
> Clear Resin Amazing Cast
> Scotch Tape
> Measuring spoon
> Disposable container to mix resin
TIPS BEFORE YOU GET STARTED of all the things I learned the hard way
- Don't rinse resin in the sink it will stick to stainless steel
- Lay down something to protect your work space, resin is super sticky and can get messy.
- Wipe off your tools that are coated in resin with a paper towel if you plan on using them again. Resin is almost impossible to clean once it has started to cure which is about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare Your Stainless Steel Tunnels
Cut off a piece of tape about an inch or so long and place the plug firmly on the tape. You don't want the resin to be able to seep out at the bottom. Do this with both plugs and fold the ends of the tape to make it a little easier to handle without getting your fingers sticky.
Step 3: Prepare Your Glitter Mixture
This step can be done before or after you mix your resin. In this tutorial I chose to mix the glitter and pastels first. I did a pinch of the iridescent flakes, glitter and a smidge of mica powder in interference red. I used an Exacto knife to scrape off about 40 or so shaves of the chalk. You can always add more as you go if it is too light. It is best to start small and work your way up to your desired effect.
Step 4: Measure Your Resin
Read the instructions that came with the resin. Measure out the the exact same amount of both liquids and pour it directly into the glitter mixture you prepared - It is a 1:1 ratio. This is where measuring spoons or a little plastic measuring cup will come in handy.
DON'T use anything you plan on using to eat with ever again and especially not your mom's set of measuring spoons. I have a dedicated measuring spoon for resin.
Step 5: Mix It All Together
Using a toothpick or mixing tool mix the glitter combination and the resin together making sure that it has a nice consistency that flows. I pour my resin directly into the glitter mixture. It is important to make slow motions and not a quick stir. If you stir it up quickly it will end up with thousands of miniature bubbles that are really hard to get rid of. Continue to slowly whip it until you can't see the swirls of the resin (about a minute or so).
Step 6: Adding Resin to the Tunnels
For this step I like to dip my mixing tool into the resin and then let it drip into the tunnels. I have tried pouring it directly from the container, but often find that it can get messy and there is a tendency to over pour. Ask me how I know! Do this with both tunnels. Don't worry if you spill a little you can clean it up with a paper towel. If you miss a spot that spilled onto the outside of the tunnel it's no biggie. When it cures it is easy to just peel it right off.
I like to add the resin up until you see a nice little dome on the top.
Step 7: Add More Glitter!
The trick to get some really good iridescent sparkles is to wait a few minutes after you have poured the resin and add more glitter a few pieces at a time. The tendency of the glitter is to sink to the bottom, so if you don't add more you might not see any cool glitter at all. Of course this will vary depending on the type and quantity of glitter you use. Another method is to add a second layer of resin on top of the first layer after it has cured if you feel that it isn't sparkly enough.
Step 8: Pop Your Air Bubbles
Read all the instructions and warning on the box and be careful with this step! Use a lighter and move it back and forth over the top of your plugs in order to remove the air bubbles that float to the top. I do this several times before placing the plugs to cure under the heat lamp. Continue adding more glitter until you are happy with the way they look.
Step 9: Place the Plugs Under the Heat Lamp
I know I said that heat lamp was optional so if you don't have one you can set the plugs somewhere they won't attract lint or dust and make sure it's room temperature or hotter. I feel like the heat lamp helps with the air bubbles and curing the resin but it could all just be in my head! I will keep an eye on the plugs for the first few minutes and run the lighter over the top to pop the bubbles.
If the resin seeps out at the bottom I would leave it and wait until it cures to remove it.
Step 10: And Wait..........
I know it's tempting to want to touch the resin and see if it's cured but don't! Once again ask me how I know. Wait a few hours at least until it is fully cured, it can take 24 to 48 hours. Check the instructions to make sure.
Step 11: Admire Your Handmade Plugs and Create All Kinds of New Designs
Hope you were inspired to create your own!